Come to Me for rest and refreshment. The journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary. Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life.
Remember that I can fit everything into a pattern for good, including the things you wish were different. Start with where you are at this point in time and space, accepting that this is where I intend you to be. You will get through today one step, one moment at a time. Your main responsibility is to remain attentive to Me, letting Me guide you through the many choices along your pathway.
This sounds like an easy assignment, but it is not. Your desire to live in My Presence goes against the grain of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Much of your weariness results from your constant battle against these opponents. However, you are on the path of My choosing, so do not give up!
Hope in Me, for you will again praise Me for the help of My Presence.
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. — Romans 8:28 AMP
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. — Psalm 42:5 NASB
I lived with abuse and depression from a young age. I tried to commit suicide twice — at the ages of fourteen and fifteen.
In 2004, a friend who had just buried her teenage daughter called me and asked if she could come over. I was surprised because this was not a close friend; the last time I had seen her prior to her daughter’s funeral was about ten years earlier. I agreed to see her because I thought she might want me to pray for her and her family.
She brought me a copy of Jesus Calling and explained that she had felt compelled to buy two copies and give one to me. She just couldn’t shake the feeling that she needed to get this book to me. I accepted it graciously, but I had no intention of reading it. I laid it on my stack of other books people had given me. Apparently, they saw I was a mess and wanted to help by giving me “self-help” books. I had endured domestic violence throughout my whole childhood and then for twenty-eight years of my marriage because I feared God in an unhealthy way. I grew up in the belief system that I was supposed to submit to abuse. God knew all about my life, and He also knew I needed to take baby steps out of the paralyzing darkness I lived in. I needed His gentle guidance out of the bondage I was in.
Jesus Calling is short and to the point. I don’t have the patience to read through long chapters to find what I need, and only God would know that. The book sat on my nightstand for a few weeks. I’d thrown away all the other books I’d been given, but for some reason I’d kept this one — without reading it.
One day, after returning from a women’s conference where I had just realized that submitting to abuse was not God’s way, I broke. I felt like I was going to lose my mind. I went to my husband and told him what I had learned at the conference, but he didn’t show much interest in it. I went into my bedroom and locked the door behind me, planning to kill myself. My earlier suicide attempts — overdosing on pills — had been unsuccessful, so I decided to use a gun this time.
As I reached for my husband’s gun that was on top of the closet shelf, I looked down and saw Jesus Calling on my nightstand.
I picked up the book and opened it to August 31, which states: “Your fragility is not a punishment.” But the way I read it was: “I am not punishing you.”
I broke down and cried because, for my whole life, I’d felt that God was always punishing me for every single mistake I ever made. I felt like any bad thing that happened to me — and a lot of bad things happened in my life — was God punishing me. But only God knew what was in my heart, and He knew I needed to hear that He was not punishing me. I cried and had my very first real conversation with God. I was angry, but happy at the same time. I had been feeling like a robot — just going through the motions of living — but suddenly I felt alive. I’m so grateful that I kept my copy of Jesus Calling and the Lord used it to keep me from killing myself!
I have bought countless copies of Jesus Calling for my own personal use, only to end up giving them away. I stopped writing my name in them because I knew that before long the Lord would send someone for me to give my book to. I honestly don’t know how many I have bought and given away. My granddaughter was so excited when I gave her the kid’s version of Jesus Calling. She told me she loves it and reads it every day.
Life is hard, and I need Jesus to help me every day. I lived half of my life believing in lies, but now I believe in Jesus — the Truth — and He set me free through His truth (John 8:32).
Excerpted with permission from Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions with Real-Life Stories by Sarah Young, copyright Sarah Young.
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Hope in the Lord. You don’t have to believe the lies of the enemy. Somehow, God will work everything that is hard into something good. Do you believe that? Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily